There was only one person, John Denver, in the accident plane. He was a
famous American country singer. He was also interested in flying, also
mentioned his passion about flying through his songs. There was also a checkout
pilot who Denver had made only a half-hour flight with him a day ago with this
plane, so he is also included in the cell.
* Pilot factors: The
53-year-old pilot had a private plane license and had 2.750 total flight hours.
The date of his last medical exam is June 13, 1996 and his medical certificate
was reported as third class. He could use several types of airplane such as
multi-engine land class, single-engine land class, and single engine sea class.
He had alcohol problems which was resulted in the fact that Denver, whose
driving license was seized because of excessive alcohol consumption while
driving earlier, also lost his private pilot license after he got a third-class
medical certificate due to his excessive alcohol consumption. It means that he
had actually lost his flight license before the accident.
In the day before the accident,
Denver made a one hour flight with the Rutan Long EZ plane after a half-hour
check flight of the checkout pilot. In the day which the accident occurred, it
was observed that he had difficulty to reach the fuel selector valve handle. He
also rejected the refueling suggestion of the technician.
The main cause of the accident
was reported as the fact that (1) the pilot has lost control of the plane due
to reach the fuel selector valve handle. It was supported with the other causes
which are (2) inadequate pre-flight controlling, planning and preparation; and
(3) not refueling.
* Checkout pilot factors: In the day
before the accident, the checkout pilot made a half-hour check flight with the Rutan
Long EZ plane. He stated that the plane had a 19 gallons fuel before the flight,
and he estimated that his own flight and Denver’s flight spent a total of 9
gallons of fuel. In the day which the accident occurred, it was reported that
he did not check the existing fuel in the plane.
* Technician factors: In the day
which the accident occurred, the technician stated that the quarter of the left
tank is full, whereas the half of the right tank is full, and suggested to the